BREAST CANCER AWARENESS SURVEY REVEALS STORYTELLING DRIVES
SELF-EXAMINATION AND CHARITY DONATIONS
- 55% of women believe celebrity and real life stories are equally powerful
- 41% of women inspired by the stories of others examine their breasts more regularly and 25% donate to or become involved with breast cancer charities
- 83% of women believe talking helps people come to terms with breast cancer
- But, 39% of women would not talk about a diagnosis for fear of upsetting others
Breast cancer touches the lives of millions of people every year, with 70 per cent of British women women saying either they or someone they know has fought the disease. Today, research released by The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign UK (The BCA Campaign), reveals the power of the stories these women have to tell. Forty per cent of women have been inspired by the experiences of others with breast cancer, driving 41 per cent of these to examine their breasts more frequently. One quarter (27%) were moved to donate to or become involved with breast cancer charities and one in 10 (11%) researched their personal risk of breast cancer.
The findings are released to mark the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness month, in October 2014. According to The BCA Campaign’s YouGov survey of 2000 women*, the majority of those surveyed believe the source of the breast cancer stories have no bearing on their impact, with 55 per cent saying it makes no difference whether breast cancer experiences are shared by an ordinary person or a celebrity.
What matters is that the breast cancer community worldwide speaks up and shares their experiences. Not only does this positively impact those who hear the stories, but 83 per cent of women surveyed believe the act of talking about breast cancer helps those touched by the illness come to terms with it.
However, many women hold back from sharing their stories with others. The YouGov survey found that two in five women (39 per cent) would not tell others about a breast cancer diagnosis for fear of upsetting them. This figure rises to 50 per cent among 18-24 year olds, a quarter of whom would also be too scared to share their stories.
To understand the power of breast cancer stories in more detail, storytelling consultancy Storyworks was commissioned to conduct a workshop with breast cancer survivors. The session was led by Karen Lewis, researcher and Co-Director of GEE Centre for Storytelling at the University of South Wales. Commenting on the workshop, Karen said: “Storytelling is an age old practice, which is why the stories of everyday women are so resonant. Our storytelling session confirmed that women who have had, or currently have breast cancer benefit enormously from sharing their stories with each other and with the wider community. What we found is that every person touched by breast cancer has a different experience and set of resources to draw upon. Breast cancer stories serve as a powerful source of strength, education and motivation to act, which is precisely why more women should be encouraged to speak up and share their story.”
The BCA Campaign’s research is released to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, 2014. The 2014 Campaign is centred around an uplifting call to action – “Hear our stories. Share yours.” – which aims to create a global community of strength and support for people whose lives have been touched by breast cancer through digital storytelling.
Chris Good, President of The Estée Lauder Companies UK and Ireland, commented: “Our new research findings serve to underpin The BCA Campaign’s focus on the importance of authentic storytelling and the power this can have in raising awareness about breast cancer. Ultimately this proves that we can be stronger together, our actions can make a difference and every person’s story has the power to inspire action.”
The 2014 Campaign comes to life through the authentic, inspirational stories of brave women and men who have faced breast cancer, and the loved ones who supported them throughout the experience. To hear their powerful stories, find strength in their common experiences and be moved to share your own, visit www. BCAcampaign.com. To join the fight against breast cancer, please make a donation to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF).
Hear our stories. Share yours.
Donate to Breast Cancer Research.
Visit us at BCACAMPAIGN.COM / #BCAstrength / @BCAcampaign
To hear the UK stories, visit: https://www.youtube.com/user/BCACampaignUK
Image: Leanne Hugglestone from Cardiff has been working closely with The BCA Campaign